Good morni ng, everyone. Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jane, and I am on the,Autism Spectrum.
I was always different. I had friends in school. I even had boyfriends. After meeting and having dinner with his family, one old boyfriend said that his family thought I was "different. "
I thought they were pretty much different as well .Social behaviors and cultural ways were beyond me. I remember being very frustrated with my Mother in law. She would always insist I set the table for dinner. I could never remember where the silverware was placed. At my home, it didn't matter. My Mother would often serve us supper in a bowl with a spoon. Napkins consisted of paper towel grabbed at the last minute
My Mother was very sensitive to sounds, as am I. She didn't bother ironing clothes, because she said the wrinkles would fall out. They didn't.
So much is being done for children today who are Neurodiverse. The Autism Community is coming together in understanding and strength. Instead of dwelling on presumed deficits, children on the Spectrum are being given the supports needed to build confidence and success. Teachers are guiding them with understanding and acceptance. As Dr. Temple Grandin says , we must build on their abilities .
My hope and prayer is that our world continues in its march towards full acceptance and celebration of all our children. That every adult on the Spectrum has a place at the table. Where we won't ever have to use the word inclusion again, because all will be judged by the content of their character.
I hope I am not dreaming.
Love and light,
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Thank-you for forming this group. I have a 40-year-old daughter who was diagnosed with Autism at the age of three. At that time, Autism was not well known, nor well understood. Autism is hard to understand-our daughter showed signs of great intelligence and yet, she constantly shook her hands, walked awkwardly, and learned to talk by echoing phrases. To young parents, as we were at the time, it was confusing and quite frightening. There was very little written on the topic.
Thank goodness, we went to Riley’s Children’s Hospital; Indianapolis, where our 3-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a form of Autism. I remember my husband and I leaving in tears- hopeless and sad that our daughter would be facing a lifetime of ridicule, difficulties and limited success in life. Schools at this time would put Autistic children in classes for the emotionally disturbed, because there was such little understanding of autism at the time. Our child was put in classes with violent students, and it was scary for her. Schools were not prepared for autistic children and did very little at the time to develop the right programs. Fortunately, my husband and I had a large loving family who spent every waking moment loving and teaching my daughter- allowing her to experience and adapt to life by taking her everywhere with them and treating her like every other child. God bless my Dad-recently deceased- who spent hours with our daughter teaching her math and counting money; my mother (still alive) spent hours on reading and social skills. But most of all, we surrounded our daughter with acceptance, joy and happiness.
Fast forward…. 37 years, and I’d love to talk to young parents who’s children have been recently diagnosed. Thank goodness to early speech therapy, physical therapy, a loving and accepting family, and hours upon hours of teaching….. our daughter has thrived. She has grown into a beautiful young lady, speaks well, loves to read, is happy and kind, and has a good job. We couldn’t be more proud. She is the most loving daughter a parent could ever have and our entire family embraces her with a special love.
When I look back 37 years….. I vividly remember sobbing as my husband and I walked out of the hospital – hopeless. We realize today, that none of those fears were reflective of how our lives would ultimately turned out. I‘d like to share these experiences with young parents- that with the right (and early) interventions- your child can thrive and fit into society very well. But most importantly, show them consistent love and acceptance. Read to them- even when it appears they aren’t listening. Walk with them-even though they may walk awkwardly. Talk to them normally- even though their method of speaking may be different. Hug them-even if they seem to freeze up and not know how to respond. Because deep down….. autistic children need these things as much (if not more) than every other child. Today, we couldn’t imagine life without our unique and beautiful daughter. God blessed us with one-of-a-kind and we are thankful.